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Ports & Ships Maritime News

3 June 2014
Author: Terry Hutson

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002

TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

Click on headline to go direct to story – use the BACK key to return

SEND NEWS REPORTS AND PRESS RELEASES TO info@ports.co.za

News continues below...
FIRST VIEW – SANTA MARIA

Santa Maria, Lyttelton 24 05 14 470

The Singapore-registered bulker SANTA MARIA (61,000-dwt, built 2014) sailing from the New Zealand port of Lyttelton with a cargo of coal for the east coast of India. The newly built ship is owned and managed by Philippine interests. Picture: Alan Calvert

News continues below…

EIA FOR DURBAN CONTAINER TERMINAL DEEPENING RESUMES

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Durban Container Terminal North Quay

An amended Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed berth 203 to 205 expansion at the Durban Container Terminal, has resumed.

The amended EIA report becomes available for public review as from today, 3 June 2014 and is available together with additional specialist studies and copies of correspondence received on the project website.

In addition, hard copies are available for inspection at the Durban Seafarers Club, 1 Seafarers Road, Bayhead and the Central Reference Library, 10th Floor, Liberty Towers, 214 Dr Pixley KaSeme Street (West Street), Durban.

The original process came to a halt last December because of what was regarded as a potentially adverse effect that the project would have on the nearby central sandbank. There were other environmental issues. See that report Here - use your BACKSPACE key to return to this page.

The extensive sandbank is considered to play a key role in the marine ecosystems of Durban Bay and along the KZN coast as it provides an important habitat and nursery for marine fishes along the KZN coastal zone.

The rejection of the EIA appeared to be a major setback to plans of having deepwater container berths capable of handling laden ships of up to 12-15,000 TEU. At present the port is already handling ships of up to 12,000 TEU but only when they came into port partly laden.

However, the amended EIA report seeks to address these and other issues that caused it to be halted by the Department of Environmental Affairs the first time around. Time will tell whether the relevant issues and concerns have now been addressed, but meanwhile the report is now available for public scrutiny.

News continues below…

KENYA IMPOUNDS 34 CONTAINERS OF MADAGASCAN ROSEWOOD

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The island feeder vessel MILTZOW. Picture: Shipspotting

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is reported to be considering either destroying a large consignment of Madagascan rosewood timber – 641 tonnes - or returning it to the island nation from where it came.

KRA Southern Region assistant commissioner in-charge of communication, Fatma Yusuf said the agency would liaise with the Madagascan government before making a decision.

The wood, which is packed in 34 twenty foot containers, was being shipped from Madagascar to Hong Kong and had been routed via Zanzibar which the KRA said was an attempt to avoid suspicion and seizure when it reached Mombasa for final transhipment.

The cargo came to Zanzibar from Madagascar on board the general cargo vessel MILTZOW (992-gt, built 1971, IMO 710 2273), a ship that has been in the use previously - in 2005 Miltzow was subjected to a highjacking by Somali pirates while delivering UN food aid.

“The high-valued wood was then re-shipped on board another ship, MV KOTA HAPAS, and impounded after it docked at Mombasa port. Upon verification it was confirmed that it was indeed rosewood,” said Yusuf. Rosewood is prized for its ruby red colour and is exported to China to supply the growing demand for hardwood furniture.

Kenya however is a signatory to the International Consortium on Combatting Wildlife Crime that is fighting international trade involving rosewood. According to Yusuf, rosewood is a restricted item that falls under the rare endemic tree category.

A joint inter-agency team comprising customs, KPA, Kenya Police and Kenya Wildlife Service officers has been set up to probe and apprehend those behind the international syndicates. – The Star

News continues below...

NAMPORT ISSUES PRESS STATEMENT OVER SYNCROLIFT INCIDENT

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Walvis Bay syncrolift

Namport has issued a press statement explaining an incident that occurred at the port’s syncrolift on Saturday, 31 May 2014.

The statement said that whilst Namport syncrolift personnel were in the process of lifting the fishing vessel PARACLETE out of the water onto the syncrolift platform, a wire rope under tension on the winch on the vessel’s starboard side, severed completely.

“This caused main beam no. 3 to collapse completely on one side and partially on the other. The collapsed beam caused a section of the platform which was partially supporting the extreme front part of the vessel, to fall below water level.

“The vessel remained completely unaffected and stable since her hull was still fully supported by the rest of the platform, which was where her centre of gravity was concentrated. The dry docking operation was then immediately stopped after which Namport engineers were called in to assess the situation.

“After conducting various inspections and assessment including a diving inspection, the rest of the platform, with the vessel on it, was safely lowered back into the water and the vessel was re-floated at 18h15 on Sunday, 1 June. The vessel’s crew confirmed that no damage was caused to the vessel and she was then steamed by her crew with tug assistance to a Gendev jetty in the fishing harbour.”

Namport said that its engineers were still busy assessing the damage to the syncrolift platform and preparations for repairs to be affected had already commenced. “Current indications are that the lift will be out of operation for a week or two at most.”

News continues below…

DUTCH RO-RO LINE CHOOSES THAMESPORT FOR WEST AFRICA SERVICE

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RMR’s ro-ro full car carrier Dresden which has been deployed on the north-west Europe to West Africa trade, calling now at Thamesport

Netherlands-based RMR Shipping has selected Thamesport to be its UK port of call over rival London Gateway, for a fortnightly service between north-west Europe and West Africa.

The new service has deployed a 176-metre ro-ro vessel, DRESDEN (37,237-gt, built 2000), which has a capacity of 4,000 cars and ro-ro units on fully enclosed decks. Dresden is managed by Siem Car Carriers of Norway.

The vessel allows for a wide variety of cargo through quarter and side ramps for loading and discharge onto the quay. Its cargo will be varied with general and wheeled cargo from Lagos, Dakar and Abidjan.

Project and conventional cargoes are supported using the line’s own Mafi trailers.

The Hutchison Ports UK Limited owner and operator of London Thamesport welcomed the addition of RMR shipping with its new ro-ro service which it said would help to plug the losses of several deep-sea services, which quit the terminal in favour of London Gateway last year.

“Thamesport has the flexibility and the workforce to meet a huge range of customer needs and we can provide excellent service,” said Hutchison CEO Clemence Cheng, who also runs the Port of Felixstowe, north of London.

“The port facilities are of a very high standard and the cooperation with all the staff within the port has been exceptional,” said the shipping line's UK agent, AB Global Logistics.

News continues below…

THE MARCH OF AFRICAN UPSIZING

Clarksons new logo top

The trend for upsizing on North-South routes, most visible on Far East-Latin America trades over the last couple of years, has not bypassed African trades, with a number of services to West Africa recently reorganised. Despite a variety of infrastructure challenges, the average size of vessels calling at African ports continues to increase, supported by notably robust trade volume growth.

Average Size on the Increase
The largest container capable ships calling in Africa, along with the largest trade volumes, unsurprisingly come from Asia, as displayed in the Graph of the Month. The average capacity of these ships is now almost 4,000 TEU, compared to just under 2,000 TEU for those coming from Europe, and 1,333 TEU for those steaming from North America.

north south africa 314x374px

Improvements in port infrastructure, along with strong volumes and stable freight rates (according to the SCFI, Shanghai-Lagos freight rates have remained between $1,800-2,100/TEU since August 2012), have recently stimulated a round of service upsizing on the Far East-West Africa trade. Small Post–Panamaxes (up to 5,800 TEU) along with gearless Panamaxes and 4,500 TEU ‘Wafmaxes’ (wide beam designs that are the largest geared containerships in world) have been deployed in the place of 2-3,000 TEU geared vessels. However, as internal infrastructure (road and rail connections) is often poor, ships must continue to call at a number of less developed ports along the coast. As such, smaller geared vessels will still be required to operate regional transhipment services from larger hub ports.

Strong Volumes Driving Demand
Far East-Africa trade volumes increased by 7.2% last year to reach 3.7m TEU, while Europe-Africa trade expanded by 6.9% to 1.9m TEU. Overall, North-South trade involving Africa grew by 5.6% in 2013 to 9.2m TEU, and is projected to expand by a further 6.9% this year and 8.0% in 2015. This growth is likely to drive ongoing demand for vessel upsizing or more services on African trades.

However, the 3-7,999 TEU orderbook is at its smallest level since 1999. While there are a large number of Panamaxes and small Post-Panamaxes still deployed on the mainlane trades, the majority of ships cascaded down are likely to be conventional Panamaxes. These relatively deep draft and gearless vessels are likely to remain sub-optimal for port calls at a number of smaller African facilities, in the short term at least. Smaller geared tonnage may well still be in demand for coastal trades, yet the orderbook for these vessels is also historically thin.

In today’s charter market environment, with Panamax rates still relatively low, further deployment of such tonnage on African trades may seem tempting, compared to employment of both smaller ships and more expensive larger tonnage. However, the long term trend has been for significant upsizing on this fast growing North-South trade. source – Clarksons

SENA RAILWAY BACK TO NORMAL AFTER DERAILMENT

Sena Railway by Jason Quessouji 

470
Picture: Jason Quessouji

Rail traffic along the Sena line, linking the Moatize coal basin to the central Mozambican port of Beira, returned to normal as from 18.00 on Friday (30 May 2014), when the work to clear the line following a serious derailment concluded.

The derailment occurred on Tuesday and involved a train from the Brazilian mining company Vale, which was carrying 2,386 tonnes of coal for export. 32 of the 42 wagons came off the rails and completely blocked the line at Chafundira in Mutarara district in the western province of Tete, 390 kilometres from Beira.

According to a report in Saturday’s issue of the Maputo daily Noticias, the work to clear the line was personally directed by Elias Xai-Xai, director of the Sena Line Reconstruction Brigade, of the publicly owned ports and rail company, CFM.

More than 60 CFM workers were involved in removing the fallen coal wagons and restoring the line to working order. They worked uninterruptedly for three days and nights, using a large crane and other heavy machinery.

The cause of the derailment is not yet known. An inquiry has been set up, but Xai-Xai said it was too early to say when its work would be completed. The inquiry team includes staff from both CFM and Vale.

Railway sources suggested to reporters that the most likely causes of the accident would be excessive speed, and poor use of the brakes by an inexperienced driver.

Two members of the train’s crew were injured in the derailment. 26 wagons were wrecked beyond repair, 1,638 tonnes of coal have been lost, and 150 metres of track was damaged and had to be replaced. No figure has yet been put on the cost of this damage.

With the 575 kilometre long line operational again, once more an average of 12 trains a day are using it – these are trains from the three coal mining companies, Vale, Rio Tinto and Jindal, and from CFM itself. source: AIM

KERALA PIRATING INVESTIGATION CONCLUDED

KERALA pic by Johan 

Cuschieri and marinetraffic
The products tanker Kerala, highjacked off Angola in January. Picture: John Cuschieri

Crew got injured and cargo was stolen

The Liberian Registry has concluded its investigation into the pirate-hijacking of the product tanker KERALA off Luanda, Angola, on 18th January this year.

The Liberian investigation is based on evidence gathered by an INTERPOL-led multinational Incident Response Team as well as findings of its own investigative efforts.

The Liberian Administration is currently in the process of publishing its report into the hijacking of the Liberian-flagged vessel. Liberia requested the attendance of the INTERPOL Incident Response Team in Tema, Ghana, the port of refuge to which the Kerala was directed following the disembarkation of the pirates. This team, supported and helped by the Ghanaian authorities, undertook a crime scene investigation on board the vessel.

A representative of the Liberian Flag Administration also attended on board in Tema to observe the collection of forensic evidence by the authorities, and interviewed some crew members. All parties were given full access to the vessel's documents, officers and crew and upon arrival at Tema, Ghana, all crew members received immediate medical treatment and have since been repatriated.

Following the hijacking off Angola, the vessel proceeded to Nigeria and the cargo was offloaded off the coast of that country by the pirates, believed to be Nigerian nationals. During the hijacking, the fourth engineer was stabbed by the pirates, and other crew members were beaten. The investigation report described the ordeal of the fourth engineer based on his account of the circumstances of the hijacking incident. It also revealed that, during the hijacking, the pirates disabled the Kerala's AIS and other communication equipment so that the vessel could not be tracked from shore or satellite.

During this period, the pirates painted over the identifying features of the vessel, including funnel, name (Eral instead of Kerala) and IMO number. The pirates also undertook three separate ship-to-ship transfers of cargo amounting to the theft of approximately 12,271 tonnes of cargo.

According to the findings, the owners/operators of the Kerala re-established contact with the vessel on 26th January, shortly after the pirates had disembarked. The vessel immediately set a course for Tema, where a team of Angolan Navy personnel subsequently boarded the Kerala and ultimately directed it back to Angola.

The vessel was cleared for discharge at Port Luanda on 19th February and since then a team of Angolan policemen have prevented embarkation or disembarkation of any person without permission from their superiors. The Kerala has not been allowed to depart Angola, even though it has completed cargo discharge operations.

Liberia actively participated at the Joint Co-ordination Meeting of interested parties of the Kerala hijacking incident at INTERPOL Headquarters in Lyon in April.

Following publication of the investigation, the Government of Liberia said it would continue working with authorities in the Gulf of Guinea region and other legitimate organisations in order to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice. source – Safety4Sea

See PORTS & SHIPS related reports

Oil tanker Kerala disappears off Angola
Kerala pirating a scam: tanker found off Nigeria
Kerala owner contradicts Angolan Navy, says ship was pirated
Interpol says Kerala was pirated
Highjacked tanker Kerala recovered with cargo contaminated

ANGOLAN LNG PLANT AT STANDSTILL UNTIL MID-2015

Cabinda LNG facility
The Angola LNG facility will be one of the biggest in Africa

The Angola LNG natural gas liquefaction unit is expected to re-launch production only in mid-2015, said a spokesman for US oil group Chevron.

This project, which cost over US$10 billion, has faced huge challenges in loading ships with liquid natural gas (LNG) due to a succession of technical problems, such as a rig sinking, fires, leaks and most recently a broken cable.

“Following the investigation of the accident that occurred on 10 April 2014 the company has decided to bring forward a planned halt in operations in order to allow contractor Bechtel to correct the problems and deal with others related to the unit’s production capacity,” the spokesman said quoted by financial news agency Bloomberg.

Last month it was reported that Angola LNG was attempting to lease out its entire fleet, which was the first sign that the Soyo unit would be at a standstill for a considerable period.

Angola LNG is a partnership between the Chevron group, with 36.4 percent, Angolan state oil and gas group Sonangol, with 22.8 percent, and the remainder is split between Total, BP and ENI. - macauhub/AO

See PORTS & SHIPS related article

Angolan LNG fleet to be chartered out

NIGERIAN CONFERENCE MOVES TO CAPE TOWN

CC006 middle

The 3rd Maximising African Port Capacity conference, which was to have been held this month in Lagos, Nigeria, has been moved to another country and a different month.

This is as a result of the present situation in Nigeria, and came from the suggestions of interested parties, say the organisers, Active Communications International (ACI).

Instead, the event will be held between 5 – 7 August in Cape Town, South Africa.

Further details of this and other events can be found in our EVENTS DIARY

EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT

Gateway port 470
Gateway Port

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE - remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.

PICS OF THE DAY – UAL BODEWES

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2014 05 27 13 45 01 2 470
2014 05 27 13 45 56 2 470

On Thursday last week we published pictures of United Africa Lines’ (UAL) general cargo/container ship UAL BODEWES (8,327-dwt, built 2012), which arrived in Cape Town last week. UAL in South Africa has now made a number of stunning pictures available of the ship’s time in port and her departure from the Mother City. Here are just three of them with more to follow in the future.
UAL Bodewes is one of the innovative ECO TRADER type designs coming from the Bodewes shipyards in The Netherlands The ship features a distinctive new hull design - the Groot Cross- Bow, with a foreship perfectly angled to reduce water resistance and, therefore, energy usage.
UAL Bodewes and her sisters utilise the Groot Cross-Bow to create a bow design that allows ships to have a smaller main engine, thereby reducing fuel consumption and emissions but still gaining the same performance. Her hull line also results in smoother sailing. In addition, the ship is designed in combination with an energy-saving propeller to provide a lower-cost, environmentally friendlier set up. Pictures: UAL South Africa.

Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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